Liza Martz (lizamartz) wrote,
Liza Martz

Miss Snappy Gets A New Home

There is a snapping turtle that resides in a small lake behind my neighbor, Dana's house. It recently trudged up the hillside, laid eggs under the deck steps and, duty done, plodded back toward the water . Only it didn't make it. It stopped along the way to engage Dana's two dogs in a round of I-can-snap-your-nose-off-first and decided to stay. 

Dana moved the turtle back to the lake but in less time than you can say, "slow as a turtle,"  it had returned. Dana rolled it to the bottom of a nearby ravine.  A day later Dana awoke to the frenzied barking of her dogs as they flung themselves against the kennel fence trying to reach the turtle-that-wouldn't-go-away.

It was at this point Dana called on me in to help her relocate the turtle.

"Do you know anything about snapping turtles?" She asked as she struggled up the hill carrying a long-handled rake.  My ignorance on the subject was revealed immediately when I mistook this for a clump of compost. 

Since the turtle was on its back and the only thing moving were its eyes, I was fooled into thinking it would go without resisting. Okay, so it had a large beak and some nasty looking claws but, it was a turtle for crying out loud, turtles are slow and docile. 

Silly, silly me.

I recklessly pulled the clinging vines from its undersides while telling Dana how easy this would be. All we had to do was slip it inside its plastic travel bin, flip it right side up and...

It levitated!   Dana knocked it back into the bin. We secured the lid and strapped it to the car with bungee cords. When we arrived at the park that would be the turtle's new home I used a hay rake to flip the lid open and release the turtle. 

Was the turtle grateful that we'd found it such a nice new pond? Hell no! It was ready for a showdown. Do Not Break Eye Contact must be rule number one in the pamphlet, Combat Training for Turtles. It would not let me get behind it with the rake. I moved. The turtle moved. 

I feinted then jabbed. ..

The turtle lifted into the air like a Lowrider with a 4 pump hydraulic suspension. It grabbed a fork tine in its jaws, and wrenched the rake from my hands.

I reached toward the rake. The turtle glared as if daring me to make its day.  Dana, who is much braver than I, snatched the rake, scooped the turtle up, and plunked it into the pond.

The turtle blinked, then dove under water so fast there was not time to photograph its exit. We followed a trail of air bubbles with our eyes, the turtle was headed away from the center of the pond toward a river that moseys here and there and feeds the small lake behind Dana's house.

How long do you suppose it will take the turtle to get back?
Tags: snapping turtle
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